Superconductors: Manufacturing uses DNA


The use of DNA to create superconductors will become the scenario of the future. These are materials capable of passing electrical discharges without resisting and really essential for the next technologies. Edward H. Egelman and Leticia Beltran are the two researchers who propose to use DNA strands.

These allow to eliminate the impurities from the carbon nanotubes and improve the conduction capabilities of the graphene filaments. Superconductors are the most studied in many industries because they have zero electrical resistance. This allows the electrons to flow unhindered. Superconductors do not waste energy and do not produce heat.

Materials of this type are in theory carbon nanotubes (single sheets of graphene). But making carbon nanotubes (made only of carbon atoms) without impurities seems impossible. Here scholars have discovered that short strands of DNA are successful . In fact, the DNA filaments act as direction of the works during the position of the atoms avoiding “garbage” atoms.

A method that could lead to the production of superconducting nanotubes. This technique could allow the use of the superconductor at room temperature and the creation of superfast computers. It could also reduce the size of electronic devices. Finally, allow high-speed trains to float on magnets with reduced energy consumption.

The answer was found by Edward H. Egelman and his team from UVA’s Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics. The answer is in the DNA. They started from a construction of single molecules. The result is a unique lattice of carbon nanotubes strung together for the need for the superconductor at room temperature.


A contribution to the success of the result is largely due to cryoelectronic microscopy (cryo-EM). A technique capable of determining the atomic structures of protein assemblies. The team of scholars says that this nanotube lattice could also have applications in physics. All leading to a more sci-fi future.

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